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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 2, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST

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he said he doesn't want to be treated like a 12-year-old. he doesn't want to be told what to do. maybe that's why the publicist quit. maybe he can't control him. he has people around him that do what he wants them to do. he is the man running that ship. you heard him in the piece, i am the man with the plan. >> you made this a riveting story. we hope it turns better for charlie. >> we all wish him well. >> jeff rossen, thank you very much for this. >> sure. you can have the last word online at our blog. you can also follow us on facebook and follow me at lawrence on twitter. "the rachel maddow show" up next. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, lawrence. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. this right here? this is not a pipe. that's what it says there. this is not a pipe. and this over here? this is not about unions. got it?
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this is not a pipe, and this is not at all about stripping unions. governor scott walker of wisconsin got all crazy modern art on everyone today when he gave his by enyal budget address at the state capitol. an address for which he had to lockdown the capitol building and keep out thousands of protesters. you never would have known it from governor walker's speak. from his this is not a pipe of performance at that speech. for 15 days, wisconsinites by tens of thousands have been up in arms in protest against their governor's attempt to strip that state's union. looks like governor walker dramatically miscalculated when he picked this fight. also looks like the national republican party under the leadership of the guy that used to be state party chairman in wisconsin, the national republican party dramatically miscalculated as well when they decided that the whole country should get on board with what
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scott walker is trying to do in wisconsin. despite how republicans thought this was going to go, turns out that really anywhere, but especially in wisconsin, stripping unions is an unpopular idea. so today, republicans apparently decided that they're just not going to talk about it any more. they're just not going to talk about their own idea about that any more. governor walker gave his big budget speech today and did not mention the word union. did not mention the word collective. did not mention the word bargaining. didn't mention collective and bargaining together at all, not once. in other words, no matter what you may have heard, this is not about unions, and this is not a pipe. similarly, the republican governor's association which previously launched the stand with scott website, they are now out with a new tv ad, trying to make governor walker look good in his home state. but if you say what governor walker is doing in wisconsin, if you say that he is stripping the unions in wisconsin, people really hate that idea.
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so instead, the republican governor's association is trying to say that this is the reason for the big fight in wisconsin. watch. >> asking state employees to contribute to their own benefits, just like everyone else. >> hey, wait, the unions have actually offered to pay more for their benefits. they have already offered to give in, in fact, on every financial concession that scott walker and the republicans have asked for. everything that has a fiscal impact, the unions have given in on, and their offers have been refused. the standoff is not about what the republican party wants you to think it is about. it is not about employee benefits or the budget or about fiscal issues. the republicans refuse offers about those problems. it is not about money, it is about stripping unions. but they're figuring out that stripping unions is a bad fight for them to have picked. so as of today, republicans apparently just do not want to talk about that any more.
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on monday, a statewide poll of wisconsin residents by a democratic polling firm ppp had some more bad news for republicans. when asked whether they supported governor scott walker or the unions on this issue of stripping public employees of bargaining rights, 57% of wisconsinites sided with the public employees, compared to only 37% that agree with governor walker's proposal. that was sort of the big headline from the poll when it came out. now we have the full data about what they found. and the results are pretty astounding. the poll asked whether or not governor walker should be recalled, recalled as governor. according to this poll, there is right now an even split among wisconsinites about whether or not their governor should be recalled from office. 48% say recall him, 48% say leave him in. he is only in office two months and already the state is 50/50 on wanting him out. if the election for governor held back in november was held today, governor walker was lose.
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52% now say they would vote for the democrat in that race to 45% who say they would support mr. walker. what is the reason for that swing? why would he lose election if that was held today? according to the polling firm, it is because scott walker is losing even republicans. quote, it is actually republicans more so than democrats or independents whose shifting away for walker would allow the democrat to win a rematch if there was one today. only 3% of republicans we surveyed said they voted for the democrat, mr. barrett, last fall. now 10% say they would do that if they could do it over again. as scott walker loses members of his own party, he is also unifying the opposition against him, again, quoting from ppp, in households where there's a union member, voters now say they'd go for barrett by 31 point margin. up quite a bit from the 14 point advantage they report having given him in november. in other words, scott walker's
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big gamble in wisconsin, picking this giant fight with the unions and the republican party's attempts to nationalize this fight, make it their coast to coast hill, this has not only caused scott walker's own party to peel away from him, it has electrified and unified the democratic base, bringing the democratic base home to the democratic party in a way that no other issue has in recent years. nationally, belonging to a union household has been one cater, not a particularly powerful indicater, but one that that household may vote democratic. if union households nationwide get galvanized to bolt to the democratic party the way they have in wisconsin, then president obama's re-election campaign and every other democrat's election campaign in 2012 should probably cut scott walker a big fat thank you check. republicans picked this fight with wisconsin, and wisconsin is winning the fight that the republicans picked. the national polls bear this out as well.
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we covered the gallup poll last week that showed 61% for unions when it comes to walker attempt to strip bargaining rights. this week, a new pew poll shows 42% of americans side with public employee unions, versus 31% siding with walker. "the new york times" poll showing 61% support for unions when it comes to collective bargaining compared to 33% for governor walker. all of these polls show more of the country siding against scott walker than siding with him. and this is the fight he picked. so remember, this is not a pipe, because republicans have lost the wisconsin fight about whether or not the government should strip unions, and because they are badly losing the national fight about whether governors should strip unions. they are now both in wisconsin and the country trying to convince you that this is not a pipe. this is not at all about trying to strip unions.
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this is about something else. with apologies to mr. mcgreet, that is a pipe. and wisconsin is very much about the unions. republicans and scott walker denying that is clever. it is maybe even post modern. but it is not true, and it is not working. a judge in wisconsin today decided to issue a restraining order to force governor walker to let the protesters back into the state capitol building so they can continue their protests for a 16th straight day. state senator jon erpenbach joins us, one of wisconsin's 14 state senators that remain outside of wisconsin to deny republicans the quorum they need to pass governor walker's union stripping bill. senator erpenbach, thank you for joining us again. >> hi, rachel. >> does governor walker's big budget speech today change anything in terms of your strategy, in terms of how this is likely to end? >> no, it doesn't. what it does is lays out a
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blueprint that attacks pretty much everything wisconsin is. it goes after the public services that our dedicated employees provide to wisconsinites. goes towards the education system we invested in for years and something we have been proud of. attacks the uw system and school system. if anything, it lays out what governor walker plans on doing. something we've been saying all along, and that is to systematically dismantle public service in the state of wisconsin and bring contractors in to do the job that needs to be done. >> senator erpenbach, the republican senate leader says he met with some of your fellow senate democrats. does this mean that some democrats are thinking about caving here, about going back and letting republicans have their quorum to strip the unions and do the other things? >> no, no, it doesn't. hopefully they had a conversation about which republicans might be backing off their positions and actually supporting us in attempts to get rid of language echoes of worker rights in wisconsin.
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hopefully that's what they talked about. our resolve is strong. we agree none of us will be either the 20th or 21st vote on the senate floor in order to give them the quorum they need. we feel very firmly about that. so rachel, we're not going anywhere. >> republican governor's association started running an ad that says this fight in wisconsin is over whether or not public workers make contributions to their pension plans. we played a piece of that. what is your response to that. what does it mean to you that that's how they're trying to make this case to the country? >> well, it means we're talking to a wall because this is not about the money. the money isn't an issue any more. every single public employee, every single teacher agreed to every single financial term that governor walker has asked for. they have given him the money to balance his budget. but he refuses to listen. in fact, rachel, he hasn't even publicly acknowledged that fact that they handed over the money. so i don't know why they continue to talk about that.
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everyone in the state, everyone in the nation knows the public employees have given governor walker the money he asked for. i don't know they continue to debate an issue that isn't an issue. >> my hypothesis, they realize they have lost on the issue, if they stipulate the facts, if they stipulate that the public employees have given all the fiscal concessions, if they stipulate this is about getting rid of collective bargaining, really it is about getting rid of union rights, i think they thought it was a fight they were going to win, and they have been surprised by the fact they are not winning in the polls in wisconsin, nationally, or in the streets of madison. but on that issue of the protests, if the protests cannot reconvene at the state capitol, even if they lose the argument, do they end up winning because the pressure is off them? >> no. it's actually been pretty embarrassing what i've seen at the capitol today especially. having to go to court to open the doors of a public building for a building owned by all of us in the state of wisconsin,
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any time there's the people's business in that building, which is pretty much every day, those doors have to be open. for governor walker to shut the doors or make it very difficult to get into the capitol, to show ids, go through metal detectors, it is very telling to me. they are trying to squash the voice they're hearing outside, try to quiet down the protesters as best as they possibly can. what really bothers me about all of this stuff is the governor seems to be escalating what's going on in madison when everything to this point has been peaceful. >> do you think the governor is trying to provoke protesters, provoke people that disagree with him into behaving in a way that looks bad? >> you know, i really hope not. it was disturbing enough to hear him talking with others about getting troublemakers to raise a ruckus. i hope he dropped that thought and isn't thinking that any more. we have a real situation in wisconsin to resolve. it is about protecting worker
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rights in wisconsin, and the governor shouldn't be figuring out how to trick us back into session or how to make the protesters in madison who are wonderful people who have a strong, united voice, how to make them look bad. it is a complete waste of time. >> senator, we talked a bunch over the last few days as we tried to stay on this story as best we can. if i can just ask you personally if this is something where you still feel like you've got the support you need to be able to keep doing what you're doing, or is this something getting harder day by day? >> no, it is not getting any tougher. i mean, i am getting a lot of messages on facebook, e-mail, on the phone, and so are my other colleagues. we feel strong about what we're doing. what we're seeing in wisconsin, we're seeing hostile corporate takeover of the state of wisconsin. we know states are the laboratory of democracy, this isn't a laboratory of democracy, this is an experiment going very bad, very quickly. further strengthens our resolve
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and we see the governor trying to balance the budget, his state budget on the backs of every single person who takes advantage of our wonderful public education system, whether k-12, technical schools or the university system, it is a mistake. he is going after not only collective bargaining but things we value. he's going after our kids' education. if anything, it really strength ens our resolve. i have two kids at middleton high school. they have wonderful opportunities, i wish they would take advantage of them, but have wonderful opportunities because of the staff there. he is going after their education, going after the future of wisconsin, and it is just not the right thing to do on either side of the aisle. this is a really touchy subject. >> wisconsin state senator, democrat jon erpenbach, thank you for your time. nice to see you. >> thanks, rachel. >> hostile corporate takeover of the state of wisconsin. it is a rare moment in politics and in life when someone can use the phrase oh, yeah, for an argument.
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they can say evil obamacare is worse than doing nothing. president obama has just responded to allegations, in effect by saying oh, yeah? oh, yeah? we are still waiting on the republican come back to that. a fight being widely misreported in the media. ezra klein joins us next.
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recently a whole new kind of cloud came
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the single most republican place in the country, the single reddest state there is in this country has produced one of the most interesting political fights that there is in this country, and two really brave conservative republicans at the heart of it will join us here live on the show in a moment. no, your ears are not deceiving you, i'm serious. i mean it. this is not a lipstick.
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i hope today all of you feel free to make yourselves at home. for those of you with a particular interest in the next election, i don't mean that literally. >> president obama meeting with governors visiting him in washington, d.c. this week. president obama was not a governor. he was a united states senator before he was elected president. but mostly in this country, we like to elect governors. the last guy that did that was in 1960. when president obama looks at all of the republican governors, he is looking at the group that will probably provide his strongest challengers for his re-election in 2012.
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to that end, i don't know why it is not being covered this way, but president obama this we can just called the bluff of every single one of those republican governors and potential challengers. president obama has just effectively prevented any of them from running against him in 2012 on the basis of health reform. >> if your state can create a plan that covers as many people as affordably and comprehensibly as the affordable care act does, without increasing the deficit, you can implement that plan and we'll work with you to do it. >> this will go down in history as the great bluff calling of the 2012 presidential election. you think the federal government screwed up so badly on health reform, you guys, you do it better, governor, really? go ahead, republican governor that wants to challenge me for the presidency. i hereby give you the ability to replace my plan with your own. so put up or shutup. if you think you can do it better, don't just complain, show me, and either every
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governor loses for the same reason mitt romney will, or it goes away as an issue in the 2012 campaign. joining us now, ezra klein. thanks for your time. >> good evening, rachel. >> it is easier, of course, to criticize policy than it is to compete on policy, to put forward and pass your own alternative ideas. does this move by the president put republican governors on the spot to do their own version of health reform if they are going to complain about the other one? >> they spent a couple years saying it is the most absurd, poorly written, long, complex piece of legislation one could possibly imagine. so obama as you put it sort of called the bluff. he said look, all right, if it's such a bad bill, you tell me how to do it better. you take the end goals we all agree on. people should be covered.
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the coverage should be good, the deficit shouldn't go up, and do it better. and i don't think that many of them are going to take him up on it. what is actually going to be perhaps odder, more embarrassing, the two states i know of that are excited about this, vermont and oregon. vermont has single payer id, and oregon something i don't understand yet. they are not traditionally red states. i think this will shake out a little differently than people think. >> so democratic gofrz, states that are blue states may do more aggressive, liberal versions of health reform that will, in effect, function as liberal, single payer, pilot projects for nudging federal health reform that direction? >> makes perfect sense if you think about it. republicans did have a pretty good, popular idea on healthcare reform, and you have to give them credit for it. it was the idea mitt romney proposed in massachusetts. the only problem is barack obama stole their idea and did it nationally, republicans turned against it, said it is unconstitutional travesty and
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completely income prehence believe plan and we can't support it. now mitt romney disowned it, mike huckabee attacks it in his book. the problem is there are other plans but they don't go in the same direction. if you want to cover people, make it work, we have a lot of examples to do that. the problem is they are mostly in european countries and one in japan as well, and they involve more government involvement and not less. so i'd love to see someone like mitch daniels, some of the serious policy guys on the right come up with other ideas. it would be interesting to see that competition. i think they're going to have trouble showing in a credible way they can cover more for less money with as good insurance as affordable care act can. >> seems that this is designed to turn every republican
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governor in the country into a mitt romney who can't run against obama on health reform as they've done their own thing. in terms of the way this is being reported, i feel quite mystified why this is characterized in the beltway press as the president bending or weakening on defending health reform against republicans. has it moved at all towards the republican position that they want to repeal it? >> this waiver plan is cosponsored by ron white in the senate and scott brown. i think it is actually a good idea because i think we should have these types of policy competition. the original theory behind it was it gave republicans a constructive way to criticize the affordable care act. they could go after it, say it was a terrible bill. what they would be doing is something democrats are fine with, trying to cover everybody at low cost with health insurance. the problem with that plan is that barack obama endorsed it. now they can't say they are doing something bad for the affordable care act. i think it is less likely to pass, even though it is good
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legislation. i don't know if house republicans will be excited about throwing barack obama into the brier patch, so to speak. we now have barack obama saying essentially very clearly he doesn't think it is a problem. what he is interested is the end of healthcare reform. republicans need to get off the fence about something. are they for healthcare reform and they have ways to do it, or are they against the affordable care act and have no way to replace it. this makes that a very clear choice. >> that's right. calling their bluff. you want to complain about policy, make son-in-law of your own. ezra klein. a one man conglomerate, thanks to have you here. >> thank you. why did a state legislature that is 84% republican just reject a bill to restrict abortion rights? why did the single most republican legislature in the country reject an anti-abortion bill? it is because of the single most interesting and most underreported thing going on in republican politics in america today. that is next. it will blow your mind.
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why are republicans running this attack ad? hey, hey, obama, kin kad is the best. he is your cheerleader from the left. go obama! >> seriously? why are they doing that? couldn't have anything to do with this, could it? >> this fellow here with the yellow shirt, give a warm welcome to mccocka. >> if i were running for that seat he lost, i would be
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desperate enough to put him in a skirt and call him a cheerleader, too. the man behind the mcka ka later this hour [ male announcer ] 100 crisps in every can. ♪ 100 ways to enjoy pringles. ♪ 100 crisps, 100 ways. ♪ everything pops with pringles. ♪ [ female announcer ] mini, meet berries. introducing new kellogg's frosted mini-wheats with a touch of fruit in the middle. helloooooo fruit in the middle.
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it is turning out to be one of the most surprising things about politics in 2011. here we are, march of 2011, and have essentially nobody from the republican party running for
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president against barack obama yet. newt gingrich is forming an exploratory committee. that said, he has been thinking of running for president the last decade or so, as far as i can tell as a means to make money. also herman cain who one a tea party straw poll, maybe it will be gingrich versus herman. today, 28 months after barack obama beat john mccain in the last presidential election, the most interesting story in american politics is still the republican party. still, the republican party's effort to re-invent itself post bush and post mccain, who will be the leader, who will be the face of the party. what will the republican stand for, what will they prioritize when they wield power. before they forge answers to
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those big questions, they have meanwhile been winning lots of elections, and that has brought to the floor some tensions, some central debates in the republican party. they are working it out amongst themselves while they are in power. it is undercover, i think it is fascinating. at the national level, republican parties decided a national message that they're all about jobs. then voted for a budget plan, estimated by a bunch of credible economic analyses to cost the country thousands of jobs. at the federal level, there's a beltway myth they decided not to work on social conservative issues, what are sometimes called culture war issues. but the members keep promoting culture war stuff. defund npr. have the federal government overrule gay marriage in washington, d.c., and of course, make abortion super difficult to get, even if you have to do it by raising taxes. the republican party post bush and post mccain has settled on an image that is small government, that has libertarian talking points at least, but that's not what they are doing
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in politics. there's a great sort of ideological wobbliness at the heart of republican politics. they want to say they are small government, small c conservatives. at the same time, they are unwilling to give up socially conservative aims through big intrusive government policies. if you're all for small government, state rights, local control, you wouldn't want the federal government to be wading in to overthrow a decision that d.c. made for itself about gay marriage, would you? if you believe in small government and individual liberty, the idea the government would mandate what it is your doctor has to tell you in your medical appointments, that the government would essentially write a script for your doctor that the doctor is required to read to you, the government would insert itself into your decision with your doctor about what you want to do in terms of a medical procedure. the government would override your judgment and your doctor's judgment, and instead substitute
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the government's decree about what should happen at your doctor's visit. that is a lot of things, but not small c conservative, that is not small government. and this is a split, not just between liberals and conservatives, between democrats and republicans, this is a split at the heart of the republican party. and unless we understand that split among republicans, among big government conservatives and small government conservatives, there's no way to explain, for example, what just happened in the most republican state legislature in the entire country. this is not getting any national pickup yet, but it is such an important window into what's happening between big government conservatives and small government conservatives among republicans. this is the wyoming state legislature. look at this. this is their house and senate combined. this is before the last election. pre2010 election. red means republican, blue means democrat. it was a spectacularly republican legislature, before the last election.
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look what happened in the last election. boing. even more red. there are almost no democrats left in the wyoming state legislature. in the entire state senate, there are four democrats. there are ten in the house. a grand total of 14 democrats in the entire legislative body, this is 90 people. in other words, this is a republican legislature. it is the most republican state in the nation. the most republican state legislature that we have in america. but that fact has not cleared the way for republican policies of the big intrusive government variety. when one of the big government state reps in wyoming introduced new draconian abortion restrictions in that state legislature, he found himself running up against opposition not just from democrats but republicans. republican legislators, conservative legislators arguing against it from a conservative perspective saying hey, you guys, we actually meant that small government thing.
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when we played some of the arguments that republicans in wyoming made against this big government anti-abortion bill, the reaction we got from our own audience hearing the republicans making conservative arguments, the reaction we got was overwhelming. >> when i go to the doctor, it is the most private thing you can imagine. i want myself, i want my husband, and i want my doctor there. and i don't want any government. >> what this bill does is say that as a woman that i'm not smart enough to know the decision that i'm making, that somehow the state is required in this particular decision where they are required in no other medical decision. >> the doctors don't need to be told by us, when we don't even
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know what the heck we're talking about, we don't even know what are in the statutes. all i'm asking is keep government where it should be, and that's out of the doctor office. >> that was representative shepperson and sue wallace. they stopped that bill. but then the sponsor brought up a new bill, slightly altered bill. they fought it all the way through the state legislature and kept fighting even as it moved into the state senate. then, get this. lo and behold, friday night with a state senate that looks -- look at this. with a state senate that looks like this, state senate in wyoming looked at that big government anti-abortion bill and they voted no. this is not democrats beating republicans in wyoming. there aren't any democrats in wyoming, no offense to you four senators, i don't really mean it. but this was small c conservative. this is small government
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conservative republicans in wyoming saying to their fellow republicans in wyoming leave us alone. we do not want this kind of big government intrusion. we do not consider that to be conservative. this is the single most interesting seemingly unsustainable tension at the heart of republican politics in america, and we are learning about it because of principled conservatives in the reddest state on the map. joining us now for the interview, wyoming representatives sue wal is and lisa shepperson. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, glad to be here. >> representative shepperson, let me start by asking you. if you think i am getting this right in terms of framing, is this debate about big government versus small government among conservatives? is that the right way to understand this? >> yes, rachel, it absolutely is. just before this bill came up, we passed a senate resolution stating that government should
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stay out of our healthcare decisions, and that every citizen in the state of wyoming has the right to make those decisions on their own. and then a bill like this comes up, and that's why we fought it so hard, is because how can we have a senate resolution saying that we don't want government in our doctor's office, and then have a bill like this. so it is absolutely about keeping government small. >> representative wallis, i know the legislature in wyoming has gotten even more republican since the last election. you look at sort of the red and blue grid of the legislature. democrats are barely represented in the state government there. as that has happened, do you think that small government conservativism is on the rise, do you feel you have more support for your positions on issues like this? >> yes and no, rachel. wyoming has always been a place that has had a strong as you define it conservative with a small c bend in both parties,
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all parties, and i think that what we saw in wyoming was in a small part a reflection of what happened across the nation, and what i think many of us feel happened across the nation is that the american people are tired of government overstepping its bounds, looking to get back to business, looking for some relief from overregulation that's squashing our economy and wasn't about the social issues. i think what happened this year is a reflection of the culture of wyoming and the way it has been for a long time. >> i would be curious to hear from both of you on this. i wonder what you think. i recognize that you are state legislators, neither of you work in washington, but i wonder what you think about republican efforts federally to try to pass sweeping anti-abortion restrictions for the whole country, some similar to what you just defeated in wyoming.
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there have been three federal bills to restrict abortion since the republicans took over the house. miss shepperson, do you have any take on that for the country? >> i do, i think we should not be modeling in that. one of the things we are taught, the government is supposed to protect us from each other, but government goes wrong when it starts protecting us from ourselves. and we as competent adults can make those decisions for ourselves. that's not the role of government in my mind, and i really wish that washington would focus on things that are going to make a difference to the economy like jobs and true healthcare that will help the common everyday people. >> representative wallis, do you want to jump in on this happening at the federal level as well? >> yeah, rachel. i think it is a huge mistake to misinterpret what the feeling of citizens of the united states
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are. i think the overwhelming change was all about the economy, all about opportunity, and really has nothing to do with these restrictive, oppressive social issues. >> i would say that the clock on the state capitol behind you, i think it is the state capitol clock is one minute fast, shows you how advanced wyoming is. one question for you both. as you can tell from the way i introduced this and i know from the producers' discussions with you, i think this story is fascinating. i think it is important for understanding what's going on in republican politics, but i rope that by highlighting this i have not gotten you into any republican trouble. i am wondering since we've been giving this issue national attention, what the response has been like, if you have heard from people, if i have created any drama for you by highlighting this.
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has it been okay? >> rachel, you know what, it has been so positive. i think lisa has, too, but i have personally heard from literally so many people, neighbors, constituent, people from around the state who wrote to say that they were proud of us for taking this stand, that they were with us, that they thought this was the right way to do things, and they really wanted us to know that they had -- that we had their support. so that was very heartwarming. really, we had very little negative attention. i mean, there are those groups that are actively working to implement some of these, the gay marriage bans and the abortion bills, but really, saw no
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increase, no difference in the level or intensity of that. it was more than anything, it was very, very positive. so thank you for that. >> well -- >> yes, rachel, i'm sorry. >> go ahead. >> when i was on the campaign trail, stuff like this was not what was talked about. i had the same overwhelming response from constituents saying you go, girl, keep government out of the doctor's office. i think it has been good for your show, too, there were a lot of people in wyoming that hadn't been exposed to the "the rachel maddow show," and they have now. this is something that the republican party needs to address and it is something that there is a bit of a split in wyoming, and it is something that we're going to have to work on. we really enjoyed it, can't thank you enough. >> if i come to town, i will look you up and i would love to come visit wyoming, and to the extent this is wyoming meeting me and me meeting wyoming, hello, see you soon.
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thank you both for joining us tonight. if anybody gives you any grief about talking with me, i am sorry about that in advance and i will make it up when i come visit. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you, guys. all right. after this show at the top of the hour, ed schultz has the latest from wisconsin, taking on the demonization of teachers in wisconsin. but first, news so weird from the gulf of mexico, that when i tell you this news, you will think i am lying about it. i will not be lying. some right wing blog will probably say i am, but i won't be lying. you still won't believe it. that's next. love legendary covergirl lashblast?
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in april, there was an accident you might remember. it was the bp oil disaster, a rig drilling at 5,000 feet under the gulf of mexico exploded. 11 men died and 200 million gallons of oil poured into the sea. it was the largest offshore accidental oil spill in the history of mankind. that was in april. yesterday our government decided to approve deep water drilling to start again in those same waters where the bp oil disaster happened. you know who got the approval to do the first deep water drilling in the gulf after the bp disaster? it's a company called bp. bp owns a 46.5% interest in the well that just got permitted in
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the gulf. they also made more than $5 billion in profit in the fourth quarter last year. the year of the spill. tell me again why this industry gets taxpayer subsidies? virginia is a battleground state that went to the democrats in '08. obama beat mccain by about seven points. ever since the state has been a
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virginia is a battleground state that went to the democrats in '08. obama beat mccain by about seven points. ever since the state has been a grail for republicans. to them virginia is the state that got away. so when virginia's democratic senator jim webb announced he wouldn't run for re-election republicans got very excited, perhaps over excited and started running an attack ad already against someone who has not even said he is going to run for the seat. >> this is going to go down in history as one of the great achievements of this president. this stimulus is critically
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important. >> go obama! >> see? tim kaine is a cheerleader get it? he is a grown man and they put him in a little short skirt. that putting a guy in women's clothes thing is always hilarious. perhaps a little premature here though. tim kaine has not even declared candidate in this race and they are already busting out the you're secretly a woman attack ads. over kill perhaps? almost like republicans are nervous, like maybe they're worried about their ability to win this one. >> this fellow over here with the yellow shirt or whatever his name is with our opponent and is following us around everywhere. let's give a welcome here. welcome to america and the real world of virginia. >> that is who the republicans are running for the jim webb seat. george allen had that seat, lost it, then ran for president by saying how much he didn't like being a senator and found it
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boring. now he is running for that seat again. >> so welcome. let's give a welcome here. >> yep, running him again. republicans are nervous enough that they are running put the guy in a skirt ads against someone who isn't in the race yet. their candidate gave us this entry in the dictionary. macaca moment when a politician makes a comment so offensive it costs him or her the election. republicans are nervous about this seat i think because george allen is the macaca guy. but there is so much more to george allen than macaca. for our tmi refresher course we didn't even need to put him in the skirt though it would have been hilarious had we done it. hey, kent. >> hi, rachel. if you were intrigued by the macaca video? may i present now, "george allen, the early work."
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oh, yes. he didn't just have a macaca moment but a macaca life. 58-year-old george felix allen has been elected congressman, governor, and u.s. senator from the commonwealth of virginia, flaunting racial attitudes and symbols from the '80s, 1880s. young allen started early. it was reported he had always been attracted to the notion of the old confederacy driving around in high school in california with a confederate flag on his car. he posed for his high school year book wearing a confederate pin on his collar. duke? no. hazard? most definitely. from then on throughout his legal and political career allen just kept on whistling dixie. like allen hung a noose from a tree in his law office. a noose. allen claimed it was more of a lasso and has nothing to do with lynching. he pictured the confederate stars and bars in his first campaign ad for governor of virginia. he signed a confederate heritage
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month proclamation that described the civil war as a four-year struggle for independence and sovereign rights. and nothing else. he opposed creating a holiday for martin luther king and opposed the 1991 civil rights act. when he was governor allen posed for this photo with members of the white supremacists group the council of conservative citizens. and in case we weren't getting the point allen appeared in the tv civil war movie "gods and generals" as a rebel officer. >> he's also got range. after learning in 2006 that his grandfather was jewish allen said, quote, i still had a ham sandwich for lunch. and my mother made great pork chops. oi. and of course there was the debacle and defeat. but far from being cast out of conservative universe allen became a presidential scholar and wrote a book "what washington can learn from the world of sports" published by regnery, the folks who gave us
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